Everyone has a version of a dream vacation. That usually involves a first class flight to an exotic location and stay in a luxurious hotel. Unfortunately, the reality of a budget might mean flying economy and staying in a hotel that is nice but not “penthouse suite” nice. All of that could change with the right upgrade. Yes, hotels offer upgrades, too. Some of those upgrades will mean paying more but you could also score an upgrade if you time things right and ask the right questions. Are you ready to score a hotel upgrade?

Avoid the Week

Hotels get booked for the holidays so your chances of getting an upgrade during those times are slim. The same can be said for during the week. Hotels are busiest from Tuesdays to Thursdays. That is when business travelers are staying there. Since most of those business travelers are on the company dime you can expect them to score all those great rooms and paying for them.

Check In Early

The check-in time for more hotels is 3 pm. Sometimes you can get lucky by checking in early. It might be that they’ve got a lot of rooms to turn around but the upgraded room hasn’t been booked and won’t be. They might slip you into that room just to take the pressure off the cleaning staff. Worst case scenario, you check in, show them that you’re patient and have them hold onto your luggage. Then go have lunch or start exploring the city.

Sign Up for Frequent Guest Programs

It’s a safe bet that whatever hotel you’re staying at is going to be part of a chain of hotels. They usually have frequent guest programs that offer rewards and discounts for return visitors. The hotels will pay attention to that. If you get on their mailing list, then they’ll probably send you promotions to help with bookings on their off-season. Take advantage of those for sure!

Book Directly

There are plenty of online travel sites that can offer “cheap” rates on hotels. The hotels know this and would probably be less inclined to offer an upgrade given that you’re already getting a reduced rate. If you call the hotel directly and speak to the front desk representative, then you might find yourself getting a better deal than online. Just ask for those discounts and upgrades and see what happens.

Finally, be sure to let the hotel know if you’re visiting for a special occasion like a honeymoon, anniversary or birthday. You never know what kind of surprises might be waiting for you!